The establishment of the Children’s Commissioner’s Office allows hope for an improvement in the state of children’s rights in the province. The office will be solely dedicated to advocating children’s rights. Dumisani Sibeko African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The 59 nominations for the job of Western Cape Children’s Commissioner include advocates, doctors and children’s rights activists.

Among the names are Christina Nomdo from the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Rapcan), Sans Souci Girls’ High School principal Ruschda O’Shea and Artscape chief executive Marlene le Roux.

Chairperson of the social development standing committee Gillion Bosman said: “I am very excited about the interest the public and the media has in this and we are excited to get this process started.”

Bosman said they received 59 nominations for the commissioner’s job.

“There was no short-listing process, the 59 nominations were received as is and the committee received only 59.

“There is no vetting process that is why we published the list for the public to have a say,” he said.

The names are being published for the public to submit objections on the nominations by October 23.

Over the years there have been growing calls for the provincial government to appoint a children’s commissioner over recent years given the high number of child deaths in the province. In August, statistics released by the provincial government made for horrific reading with the news that 989 children were murdered in the past five years. But it was the death of three-year-old Courtney Pieters in May 2017 that ignited calls by activists for the province to act quickly.

Among the names put forward is advocate Joy Van Der Heyden, who has experience in children’s rights, adoption, and surrogacy law.

She said she was very nervous.

“It’s a massive responsibility and a daunting task but at the same time an amazing opportunity. Children have always been my passion. I believe what we should focus on is filling in the gaps when it comes to addressing challenges children face,” she said.

Apart from being involved with Rapcan, Nomdo, is also part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s National Planning Commission advising him and the Cabinet on the implementation of the National Development Plan.

“This is a first for the country and the province is pioneering this.

“It’s a huge honour and privilege.

“I think the problems facing our children are problems we see throughout the country and the fact that the system has failed our children which is a concern to me,” she said.

Another nominee is advocate Mirinda Gaum, wife of advocate André Gaum, an SA Human Rights commissioner. “I was quite surprised, no one informed me I accepted the nomination because we are in a difficult time as a country where children are overlooked and this is something communities are in need of.”

The nominations are as follows: 

1. Adv Africa, Lizelle 

2. Ms Albertyn, Samantha Zinzy

3. Dr Alexander, Naqita

4. Mr Amod, Mohamed

5. Dr Atmore, Eric

6. Ms Bailey, Debra

7. Ms Bosman, Sadie Hester 

8. Mr Bolman, Andre

9. Ms Bower, Carol

10. Ms Campbell, Adele Noreen 

11. Ms Evans, Lucinda Collette 

12. Ms Garnie, Sharmiela 

13. Adv Gaum, Mirinda 

14. Ms Hanekom, Wouda Janene 

15. Ms Hartnick, Jennifer Lorraine 

16. Mr Honiball, James Edward 

17. Mr Jacobs, Aubrey Josias

18. Dr Kabanyane, Sidima 

19. Ms Kram, Yondi-lee Cameron

20. Adv Lakay, Shameema 

21. Ms Lange, Joy 

22. Dr Le Roux, Marlene 

23. Ms Lestrade, Ingrid Elizabeth 

24. Ms Losper, Avril 

25. Ms Maharaj, Nalini

26. Dr Malapane, Sipho Pienaar

27. Ms Mamputa, Brenda 

28. Ms Maselomie, Jason 

29. Ms Matthews, Tasneem

30. Ms McKellar, Gabriela

31. Dr Meltz, Adrienne

32. Adv Menon, Denise Annaleah 

33. Ms Mohamed, Zakira

34. Ms Moko, Lorraine

35. Prof Muntingh, Lukas 

36. Ms Ndibi, Zizipho 

37. Dr Nkosi, Mfundo 

38. Ms Nomdo, Christina 

39. Mr Ntaka, Lungile 

40. Ms Ntshangase, Prudence Hlengiwe 

41. Ms O'Shea, Ruschda 

42. Ms Olivier, Christelle Alida 

43. Ms Philander, Rochelle 

44. Ms Plaatijies, Lydia 

45. Mr Qodashe, Andile 

46. Mr Rhode, lmran 

47. Ms Roberts, Sarah Helena

48. Mr Ruiters, Curlen John 

49. Mr Samuels, Alec Jerome 

50. Mr Son, Grant 

51. Mr Songo, Phumzile Hurbert 

52. Mr Thango, Mfundo Wiseman 

53. Mr Thesen, Edwin 

54. Ms Thorne, Melanie 

55. Mr Titus, Randall Ralph 

56. Ms Van der Heyden, Joy 

57. Ms Waxa, Thembakazi 

58. Ms West, Lindsay Judy 

59. Ms Wildschutt, Zureena

Objections can be emailed to [email protected] or: delivered to N Jamce, The Secretary - Western Cape Provincial Parliament, 4th Floor, Provincial Legislature Building, 7 Wale Street, Cape Town, 8001.

They can also be posted to The Secretary - Western Cape Provincial Parliament, attention Ms Jamce, PO Box 648, Cape Town, 8000.


[email protected]

Cape Argus